From the Bush to the Cloud: Following the Social Lives of the Skins ‘Dun’ and ‘Dee’


  • Claire Langsford University of Adelaide



commodities, social lives, material culture, mixed-methods, multi-sited ethnography


Tracing the flows and transitions of some commodities can be incredibly difficult. Like their living counterparts, crocodile skins are unpredictable and multiple, submerging in and out of view. They are disobedient, ‘Other’ objects in the sense used by Ihde (1990), as they regularly work against the classifications and transformation activities of human agents. Like Law and Singleton’s (2004) ‘fire objects’ they are both present and absent as their ‘crocodileness’, their status as animal subjects, moves in and out of focus in different cultural contexts. When faced with such devious objects an ethnographer cannot, like Appadurai, view objects as mere conduits of human meaning and intentionality but instead must make use of multiple methods to capture the voices, actions and effects of these objects as they move through processes of commoditisation. Combining online research, practitioner narratives, object interviews and photography, my research and telling of Dun and Dee’s story aims to explore how the crocodile skins’ physical, relational and symbolic properties as animals/objects/commodities have the capacity to affect the emotions, interpretations and creative efforts of cosplayers and others.




How to Cite

Langsford, C. (2017). From the Bush to the Cloud: Following the Social Lives of the Skins ‘Dun’ and ‘Dee’. Sites: A Journal of Social Anthropology and Cultural Studies, 15(1).